On This Day in Disney: Fun and Fancy Free Premieres

In the early ’40s, Disney was working on two full-length animated feature films, Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk. When war broke out at the height of their development, it was decided to create a “package feature,” combining the two stories in a single film, Fun and Fancy Free, which was released on this day in 1947.

The package feature format helped Disney to provide entertaining films throughout the war, allowing audiences an escape from the realities of the world’s problems if only for a short while. Jiminy Cricket returned to the screen, with Cliff Edwards reprising his role as the cricket’s voice, and served as the guide between segments of the lighthearted film. His opening number, “I’m a Happy Go Lucky Fellow” was actually written for him to sing in Pinocchio.

The story of Bongo was told through song by Dinah Shore, a very popular singer at the time. At one time during the early stages of Bongo, thought was given to developing the film into a follow up to Dumbo using some of the same settings and supporting cast. The animation segments were tied together with live-actions ones, featuring popular ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. The trio was joined by Disney starlet, young Luana Patten, all of whom are worked into the story of Mickey and the Beanstalk. At one point, Foulfellow and Gideon were considered for the villains who swindle Mickey out of his cow, but the animated due did not make it to the final film. Billy Gilbert was an actor and comedian known for his comedic sneezes, but his voice work for Disney spanned epic proportions. Not only was he the voice of the Willie the Giant in Mickey and the Beanstalk, but he also was Sneezy the Dwarf in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Disneyland to Close Out 60th Anniversary Celebration with New Daytime Parade

The Disneyland Park isn’t resting on it’s laurels this summer as it closes out the widely popular Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. Disney will bookend the Diamond Celebration by introducing a new daytime parade.

The new parade follows on the heels of the park’s exceedingly popular nighttime parade, Paint the Night, which kicked off the Diamond Celebration last May.

With the celebration ending this fall, the Disneyland Park will be debuting an entirely new and amazing daytime parade.  Disney Entertainment spokesperson Emma Phaekcm told us, “Soundsational has been an very popular daytime entertainment experience both with the guests and the cast members that performed in it. As a company that depends on guest happiness this was a difficult decision, but we have decided that we wanted to send off the Diamond Celebration with a flourish.”

The new parade which will be called “Ain’t the Night” will be using newly developed technology that will take advantage of the ever present Southern California sunshine that will make the colors of the floats and performers pop.

Phaekcm says, “We expect Disneyland guests to be extremely happy with what we’ve come up with.”

While a specific debut date has not been released, all indications lead us to believe that the new parade will debut sometime in early June.

Thank You!

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I would like to personally thank all of you that visit and follow this site for Disney-related news.  A very important event happened overnight….we passed the 10,000 view mark.  This was accomplished in a bit over 10 months from when Disney News Today was created.

Again….thank you all for visiting.  Tell your friends about this site…please spread the word.

Adventures by Disney Announces a New Long Weekend in Nashville

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With Adventures by Disney Long Weekends, families can enjoy exciting destinations, such as New York City and San Francisco & Napa, while making the most of their free time. Now, Adventures by Disney is heading south for our newest Long Weekends offering in Nashville, Tennessee.

Starting in 2015, foodies, music lovers and history buffs of all ages can take part in this one-of-a-kind southern experience inspired by the critically acclaimed television show Nashville on ABC.

The new 4-day, 3-night Nashville vacation puts you right in the heart of country music and southern cuisine, and offers behind-the-scenes tours of famous landmarks in Music City. Take in a live show at the Grand Ole Opry, complete with a private dinner and a special look backstage. Live out your music dreams as you are guided through the hallowed halls of RCA/Studio B, where you’ll have the chance to sing one of the many hits recorded in this famed studio. Visit the famed Bluebird Café and dine where music legends have performed, learn about the art of songwriting and enjoy a special musical performance. You can also tour some of the sites that form the backdrop for the ABC showNashville.

For fans of traditional southern food, this Adventures by Disney itinerary has something cooking for you. You’ll try your hand at unique cooking activities where you’ll learn how to bake southern biscuits and craft your own BBQ sauce.

Walt Disney Archives Introduces a New Exhibit on the Walt Disney Studios Lot

Walt Disney Archieves Logo

Since 1970, the Walt Disney Archives has built up an astonishing collection of all things Disney. Recently, after a small renovation of its Frank G. Wells Building facilities, the Archives staff had the chance to refresh its exhibit spaces to showcase more of its diverse collection, including items that have been tucked away for awhile.

Upon entering the Archives Reading Room, the first thing you’ll notice is a detailed recreation of an animator’s office from 1940—the year The Walt Disney Studios debuted its new Kem Weber-designed facility. Complete with original furniture, the display brings the best of the then-new studio to life. Objects in the Archives’ merchandise display were also refreshed.

While a few key items, like the first version of the Mickey Mouse watch, remain from the pre-renovation display, there is now an assortment of popular Mickey Mouse Club and early Disneyland merchandise prominently showcased, as well. Keep your eyes peeled; you may recognize something from your own collection! Also added to the Reading Room displays are items that Walt featured in his formal and working offices through the years. These include a Praxinoscope (an early animation device from 1879 that Walt favored so much he used it on the Disneyland television series), and the Disney family crest that the master showman had on display in his working office. The original watercolor painting of Walt used for the December 27, 1954 cover of Time magazine, painted by one of the publication’s most prolific artists, Boris Chaliapin, is also on display.

Inside the Archives isn’t the only place where some recent changes have occurred. New displays in the Frank G. Wells Building lobby include an exhibit dedicated to “Disney’s Sporting Life,” featuring props, costumes and set decorations from some of Disney’s most memorable sports-related productions. This unique display includes Dean Jones’ racing costume from The Love Bug (1969), a polo shirt worn by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000) and a costume worn by Suraj Sharma inMillion Dollar Arm (2014). Another exhibit, “Disney Music Makers,” features musically related props and instruments from several Disney properties that will surely pull at the heartstrings of fans of all ages. Jimmie Dodd’sMickey Mouse Club “Mousegetar” can be found alongside musical objects from Captain EOHaunted Mansion andBedknobs and Broomsticks, to name just a few. Also on display in the lobby is an exhibit celebrating Donald Duck’s 80th anniversary. Consisting of vintage character merchandise, production artwork, and ephemera, this display showcases everyone’s favorite irascible fowl. D23 Members will have the rare opportunity to see this new exhibit and enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives, hosted by D23 and the Archives staff on November 8. For this particular tour that will celebrate the holidays, you will also see a piece of Disney history from The Santa Clause. The Archives staff invites you to visit these exciting new displays and hopes to see you real soon!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Embark on International Tour

Beauty & the Beast - Stage

In celebration of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast‘s 20th anniversary on stage, Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group will present the first international tour of the title, which will open at Istanbul’s Zorlu Center in October 2014.

The English-language tour — which will play diverse international markets including Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, marking the first time the musical will have been seen in these territories—will reunite the musical’s original Broadway creative team.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with NETWorks and Broadway Entertainment Group, to launch this first-ever international tour,” said Ron Kollen, senior vice president, international, for Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. “To premiere Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in these cities throughout the Middle East and Asia, is a perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our beloved stage musical.”

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Tony Award-winning costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Natasha Katz, scenic design by Stanley A. Meyer, sound design by John Petrafesa Jr. and music supervision by Michael Kosarin.

Auditions are currently underway in the U.S., and casting will be announced in the coming months.

Liz Koops, producer for Broadway Entertainment Group, added, “The world of touring entertainment is constantly evolving and we wanted to begin an international circuit to bring top quality entertainment into emerging markets. What better way to start than with one of the world’s most beloved and successful musicals, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film of the same name, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway in 1994, where it was nominated for nine Tony Awards and ran for 13 years.

Since its debut, the title’s visibility and success has expanded globally with subsequent productions produced around the world. Since licensing of the title began in 2004, there have been productions in 22 countries, seen by more than 35 million people, translated into 8 different languages with over 28,000 performances — equivalent to a run of 67 years, generating over $1.7 billion in revenue.

In the U.S., Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been licensed to over 6,000 individual theatres including professional, community and school productions. It was the first Disney Theatrical Productions title in countries across Scandinavia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Russia, among others.

Currently, there are four productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beastplaying around the world, including Paris and tours in North America, Japan and Germany.

Beauty and the Beast, according to Disney, “is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.”

The musical boasts music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

Disney Infinity Correction

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Disney has issued a statement on the D23 website correcting the information that appeared on their site on April 15th and then was removed….

From D23 –

“In D23′s News Briefs published April 15, 2014, we erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity. This information was incorrect. More news about Disney Infinity will be shared on April 30, and we hope you will check back for that update. “

Little Orbit And Disney Interactive Team Up To Bring Planes: Fire and Rescue And Violetta To Nintendo Game Platforms

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Little Orbit announced today it is working with Disney Interactive to bring Planes: Fire & Rescue, based on Disney’s highly anticipated feature film of the same name, to North AmericaEurope and Australasia on Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo 3DS™ and DS™ this fall.  The collaboration also includes the launch of a Violetta video game based on the successful tween telenovela, Violetta, from Disney Channel.  The musical rhythm game will launch across European territories and in South America for Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo 3DS™ and DS™ this summer. 

“Teaming up with Disney Interactive to expand the worlds of Planes: Fire & Rescue and Violetta on video game platforms is a great honor for us,” said Matt Scott, CEO of Little Orbit.   “We know fans are going to love seeing their favorite characters come to life in these fun-filled adventures.”

Planes: Fire & Rescue will extend the storyline of the film, taking fun to the skies with action-packed fire-fighting. Players can embark on adventures with all their favorite characters from the movie.

Violetta will take players on an all-star experience as they experiment with music and rhythm and to become a star performer.  Players will collect points to unlock costumes, art and more to customize their musical experience.

The games arising from this collaboration will be distributed in EMEA and Australasian territories by leading video game publisher and developer, BANDAI NAMCO Games Europe S.A.S.

Disney Infinity 2.0 Rumored to be Coming Out in August

Disney Infinity 2.0

According to Infinity Inquirer

Disney Infinity 2.0 is coming in August 2014, and a teaser trailer can be viewed at Marvel.com.  The teaser promises such Marvel-ous additions to the game as familiar Marvel characters, objects, and vehicles-the possibilities are infinite. 

This was noticed earlier on the D23 website by Infinity Inquirer and since it was discovered D23 has removed moved it from the website.

DODOcase Celebrates Earth Day with Limited-Edition Collection of Disneynature “Bears” Cases

Disneynature Bears Cases

 DODOcase, the creator of the original book-bound iPad case, announced today its collaboration with Disneynature for the upcoming film “Bears,” a new True Life Adventure about a year in the life of a bear family in the Alaska Peninsula. Featuring unique graphics from the movie, the limited-edition iPad Air cases, iPad mini cases andiPhone 5/5S cases launch on the DODOcase website today. DODOcase will contribute 20% of every sale to the National Park Foundation.

“Nature has always been a huge source of inspiration for all the craftsmen here at DODOcase,” said DODOcase CEO Craig Dalton. “So creating a custom DODOcase to celebrate the ‘Bears’ movie and support the National Park Foundation was a lot of fun.”

Like all DODOcase products, the exclusive Disneynature iPad Air cases, iPad mini cases and iPhone 5/5S cases are handcrafted at the DODOcase workshop in San Francisco. They are made using traditional bookbinding techniques featuring high quality book cloth exterior and a sustainable, strength-tested bamboo tray on the interior. The “Bears” iPad Air cases and iPad mini cases include scenes and graphics directly from the movie, which opens in theaters on April 18th, 2014.

“The DODOcase design allows moviegoers to bring ‘Bears’ with them wherever they go,” said Paul Baribault, vice president, marketing, The Walt Disney Studios. “It also gives fans of nature another opportunity to contribute to the conservation of these animals and their habitats in a fun, unique way.”